There are many parts of the adoption process that adoptive parents dread — the home study is often cited as the scariest part, while others hate all of the initial paperwork. However, the one part that is pretty universally dreaded is the waiting period.
The thing that makes the waiting period so hard is right there in the name: the waiting. You’ve already fulfilled all of the adoption requirements. You’ve filled out the paperwork, done the interviews, paid the fees. You’re ready to bring your child home, but you must wait, and the uncertainty can be overwhelming. You don’t know if you’ll be waiting weeks or over a year. How can you get through this nebulous time?
You may have heard the saying “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. What this basically translates to, is that you cannot expect to be able to care for others if you have not taken care of yourself first.
Taking care of yourself includes the mental, physical, and emotional. Maybe that means taking a long weekend from work, or investing in the occasional massage. Maybe it’s making the time for a hike or a daily walk around the neighborhood. Maybe it’s something as simple as daily meditation. Whatever your self care is, it’s important, especially during this waiting period.
Maintain the Connection
It can be easy to give into the tension of waiting and snap at your partner or devolve into fighting over inconsequential things, so it is important to stay connected with your partner. Keep the relationship strong by communicating and working things out rather than letting conflicts simmer.
A big part of this — and a great way to spend the time! — can be dating your partner. When you’ve been together a while, the romance often falls by the wayside, but reconnecting is more important now than ever. If you work through this waiting period together, you’ll be prepared to enter into parenting as a healthy family unit.
No matter how you choose to spend your time waiting for your child, take care of yourself and your family, so you can be ready as soon as your child is ready to come home with you.